The Pellicano Verdict: The AftermathThu May 15, 2008 @ 06:31PM PST
Posted by Matthew Belloni
Ouch. Anthony Pellicano is guilty of all but one of the 77 counts against him, including the racketeering charges, which will likely carry stiff jail time when he is sentenced on September 24. THR's Leslie Simmons has the report from the courtroom. Some highlights:
- Pellicano sat emotionless as the verdicts were read. His wife Kat Pellicano was present. She said she was "devastated."
- Jury forewoman Terri Winbush said prosecutors did "an excellent job in presenting the evidence." Winbush, a principal with the Los Angeles Unified School District, said the recordings of Pellicano chatting with clients were "excellent" evidence. She found the tawdry tales of the rich and famous to be "shocking."
- Winbush on Pellicano's strategy of defending himself: "Personally, I felt (Pellicano) should have had someone represent him." Well, duh.
- Pellicano victim and former THR editor Anita Busch was present to hear the verdict. Her reaction: "The full story of Pellicano's reach has yet to be told. To Pellicano and his wealthy clients, 'winning' meant obliterating someone's life and livelihood. They saw the media as just another weapon in their arsenal and used and abused it to go after anyone in their cross hairs."
So, what's next?
Sentencing is set for September 24. Each of the racketeering counts carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, while most of the other counts have five-year maximum sentences.
Next up, on July 15, is the separate trial of Pellicano and attorney Terry Christensen for allegedly using a Pellicano wiretap to learn confidential details of his opponent's legal strategy while representing Kirk Kerkorian in a nasty dispute with an ex-wife. Christensen is probably the second most upset person by today's verdict.
And let's not forget the civil suits against Pellicano and his enablers that gained a whole bunch of momentum today. Attorney Neville Johnson, who is representing plaintiffs in five cases against Pellicano and others, said it best:
"It's a big day. I'm not surprised. This is a great day for justice, and now the civil cases can proceed."